Landscaping a Large Front Yard


Large front yards add a gracious note to a home and of course a large lot adds to the value of the real estate. Landscaping a large front yard is a challenge simply because it is large. Your front yard doesn't have to be a long, boring expanse of lawn with a tree thrown in here and there. The landscaping can complement your home and expand your living space.

Step 1

Draw a sketch of the yard, noting the locations of trees and bushes and any hardscaping such as driveways and sidewalks. Also note the angle of the sun to determine sunny and shady areas.

Step 2

Determine how much time you have for maintenance and how much you can spend on landscaping. Incorporate these factors into your landscaping plan. You may love the look of a topiary but don't have the time for the fastidious clipping and pruning required. Instead, opt for slow-growing plants with interesting shapes.

Step 3

Develop a style for your front yard that goes with the architecture of your house and the neighborhood. For example, a sleek, modern ranch house would look odd with a formal yard, clipped hedges and manicured flower beds. Drive around the neighborhood to find what appeals to you and what doesn't, and to learn what fits in the neighborhood and what doesn't.

Step 4

Hide unattractive things like your neighbor's trash cans and emphasize what's positive. Look at the front yard from the street looking toward the house and from the house toward the street.

Step 5

Create several focal points, such as a birdbath, garden sculpture or specimen plants or trees. A large yard has a tendency to blur together without a place for the eye to stop and rest. Focal points provide that stopping place.

Step 6

Emphasize the entry path and front door. In a large yard the entry way can get lost, and visitors can become confused about where to enter the house.

Step 7

Break the yard into smaller gardens and beds. Set priorities: Which areas are most important to you? It's easier to complete one bed than an entire yard, and your progress will motivate you to complete the rest of the yard.

Step 8

Note on your front yard sketch which areas will be finished first and decide on the plants you'll use. Stage the planting. It's not necessary to complete the landscaping all in one season. Plant major trees and shrubs the first year. The next year complete the second stage, perhaps a new path from the street to the entry. The third year might be a patio by the entry way.

Tips and Warnings

  • Protect your back when lifting heavy plants by bending and using your legs. Wear goggles and gloves.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper
  • Colored pencils
  • Plant catalog


  • "At Home in the Garden"; Becke Davis; 2001
  • "Garden Home"; P. Allen Smith; 2003
  • "Backyard Blueprints"; David Stevens; 2002

Who Can Help

  • Weekend Gardener
Keywords: front yard landscape, plan your front yard landscape, planning front yards

About this Author

Katie Rosehill holds an MBA from Arizona State University. She began her writing career soon after college and has written website content and e-books. Her articles have appeared on, eHow, and GolfLinks. Favorite topics include personal finance - that MBA does come in handy sometimes - weddings and gardening.